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California’s Brooksby, 20, clinches Next Gen Finals berth

October 22, 2021 GMT
Jenson Brooksby, of the United States, serves to Alexander Zverev, of Germany, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Jenson Brooksby, of the United States, serves to Alexander Zverev, of Germany, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
Jenson Brooksby, of the United States, serves to Alexander Zverev, of Germany, at the BNP Paribas Open tennis tournament Sunday, Oct. 10, 2021, in Indian Wells, Calif. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

ANTWERP, Belgium (AP) — Qualifier Jenson Brooksby locked up a berth in the Next Gen Finals for the top 21-and-under players on the ATP Tour by reaching the semifinals in Antwerp with a 7-5 6-0 victory over Alejandro Davidovich Fokina on Friday.

Brooksby, a 20-year-old from California currently ranked a career-best 70th, reached the final four at an ATP tournament for the third time this season. This already has been a breakthrough year for Brooksby, who finished 2020 ranked outside the top 300 and took a set off Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open before losing their fourth-round match.

Brooksby will turn 21 on Tuesday.

Eight men get to compete at the Next Gen Finals, which are scheduled to be held Nov. 9-13 in Milan after being called off a year ago because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Next up for Brooksby at the indoor hard-court tournament in Antwerp will be a match against No. 2 seed Diego Schwartzman of Argentina on Saturday.

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Schwartzman, a French Open semifinalist in 2020, followed up his win against three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray by beating American qualifier Brandon Nakashima 6-4, 6-2.

On the top half of the draw, Saturday’s other semifinal will be No. 1 seed Jannik Sinner of Italy against No. 7 seed Lloyd Harris of South Africa.

Sinner moved closer to what would be his fourth title of the season by defeating Arthur Rinderknech 6-4, 6-2 on Friday. Harris advanced with a 6-2, 7-5 victory over Marton Fucsovics.

None of the semifinalists has dropped a set in the tournament.

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